(Pocket-lint) - The announcement of the HTC One max means another mighty device has joined the phablet race. It sees a 5.9-inch device join HTC's One family of devices, bringing you the big screen Sense experience. But it's going up against the Godfather of phablets: Samsung.

The HTC One max and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launched within a few weeks of each other, but what is the difference between the two? Read on and we'll dive into those crucial points.

The HTC One max is bigger and heavier

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is big, but the HTC One max is bigger, and heavier for that matter. In physical terms the HTC One max measures 164.5 x 82.5 x 10.29mm and weighs 217g while the Galaxy Note 3 is slightly smaller and over 50g lighter, measuring 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm and 168g.

Then again, if you are in the market for a phablet, you might not be too fussed about a couple of millimetres, although the weight could sway you, that's quite a difference.

Sharper AMOLED display on Note 3, but bigger LCD on HTC One max 

In terms of display resolution, both the Note 3 and the HTC One max push out a 1920 x 1080 resolution. However they differ in size, with the One max coming in at 5.9-inches, while the Note 3 is 5.7-inches.

When we reviewed the Note 3, we found the display to be brilliant. The Super AMOLED screen packs in a pixel density of 386ppi, whereas the HTC One max's LCD screen features 373ppi.

This will mean the display is sharper on the Note 3 considering there are more pixels packed in tighter, but the max's display is still beautiful, with brilliant colours and vibrancy, as well as good viewing angles. What the Samsung offers in punch, the HTC offers in authentic colour reproduction.

All about the design

The HTC One max takes some tips from its smaller brother the HTC One and comes with many of the same design features including the signature dual front-facing BoomSound speakers, giving it the same great design from the front. It has an aluminium casing like the HTC One, but has a removable back for access to the SIM card and microSD card slot.

Samsung's choice of plastic accounts for the lighter weight and the faux leather back, with stitching detail, might not be to all tastes. However, Samsung offers more colour options, the ability to swap them around and a lighter device, whereas the HTC One max only available in the aluminium finish. For now.

Fingerprint scanner, or S Pen?

One of the main features of the HTC One max is the introduction of the fingerprint scanner. As well as providing additional security, the fingerprint scanner enables you to unlock or launch three of your favourite apps directly, by programming a finger to each. The Note 3 doesn't have fingerprint technology, so if you are a fan of James Bond style gadgets, you might opt for the max.

However, the Note 3 does come with the S Pen, which is one of its biggest features and gives the device Bond status of its own. Not only will it help you stay organised and access things easily, but it also allows you to search your phone using handwriting recognition along with some other nifty features like Air Command for granting you access to instant shortcuts. Whilst the fingerprint scanner of the HTC can be a little hit and miss, Samsung's S Pen is the gateway to a collection of innovative software features.

Both have good camera features

The cameras on both devices are difficult to compare spec for spec as they both have their own distinct features. The Note 3 comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera. On the other hand, the One max has a 4-megapixel UltraPixel sensor, but lacking optical image stablisation. Both have pros and cons, both are capable of giving great results in good light, getting worse as the light dims.

You will find that both the One max and the Note 3 are capable of 1080p Full HD recording from the front and rear cameras, while the Note 3 is capable of UHD recording from the rear camera, compared to the max's Full HD. If it's 4K detail you're after, it's the Samsung you want.

Better processor on the Note 3, letting you record video in 4K

The Note 3 trumps the HTC One max when it comes to processor. The max sticks with the HTC One's processor, packing a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 under the hood, while the Note 3 takes it up a notch to the 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. This will mean the Note 3 will be super fast at performing everyday tasks, but is also the reason the Note 3 will allow you to record video in 4K.

In addition, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has 3GB of RAM to the HTC One max's 2GB: whichever way you cut it, the Note 3 has more power and it perhaps the more future-proof device.

Better battery on the max

If you have a tally chart out, the HTC One max might gain a point for battery over the Note 3. There is only 100mAh in it, but a bigger capacity battery can only be a good thing. The HTC One max comes with a 3300mAh battery, while the Note 3 sticks at 3200mAh.

According to HTC, the max will give you 585 hours standby time, with 25 hours talk time, while Samsung says the Note 3 will provide 420 hours standby with 21 hours talk time. In real life, however, both devices will see you get to the end of a typical day. But if you don't make it, at least you can swap out the battery on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which you can't on the HTC One max.


If you were keeping a score, you'll find the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 wins out over the HTC One max. You will get a larger display on the HTC One max, but the Note 3 will give you a much lighter and slightly smaller device, with more power on offer and a collection of software features than make better use of the display space on offer, along with the S Pen. The HTC's strength is in the BoomSound speakers and the great design, along with Sense 5.5's new features, but it's facing overwhelming competition in the phablet stakes from Samsung.

We have been impressed by both devices for their own individual reasons and features so it is worth checking out our full reviews on both before you make your final decision.

READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

READ: HTC One max review

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.